The infamous KGB of Cold War renown was the successor to a series of equally infamous and lethal state security agencies that date from the early days of the Russian Revolution: Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, NKGB and MVD. The first chapter gives an account of the harsh state security employed by the despotic Tsars from the time of Ivan the Terrible, placing Stalin's brutal methods in a wider historical context. The author then examines the Cheka, the first post-revolutionary organization charged with combating counter-revolution and sabotage, whose methods were so ruthless that the early Bolshevik government was moved to abolish the organization 'with expressions of gratitude for heroic work' in 1922.
After taking control of the Communist Party in 1923, Stalin used the newly-formed OGPU to implement mass collectivization and deportations of the kulaks (wealthy peasants) in the early 1930s. Stalin's Instruments of Terror then charts Stalin's use of the re-named NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) to carry out the purges of the 1930s, where most of the Soviet dictator's political rivals were prosecuted in the notorious 'show trials', millions of others were arrested and ended their lives in Gulags (forced-labour camps), and countless other millions were executed outright. But this was not the end of secret police terror, as the book goes on to describe the death or enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Cossacks and White Russians who had fought for the Nazis as the Red Army advanced towards Germany in 1944 and 1945. Following the death of Stalin in 1953, the final incarnation of the Soviet secret police, the KGB, became an agency for spreading Soviet influence throughout theworld.
Illustrated with 100 photographs, many rare and previously unseen, Stalin's Instruments of Terror is a lively and accessible history of secret police oppression in the Soviet Union from 1917 to the early 1990s.
Publisher: Amber Books
Publication date: 9/28/2006
Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)